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Thursday, August 1, 2019

7 Complementary Therapies for Migraines - Plus Stu's Views

Though not intended to replace your medication, certain add-on therapies may help soothe and perhaps prevent migraine pain.
By Diana Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed by Samuel Mackenzie, MD, PhD

Standard medication is usually effective for acute migraine relief, but there are other steps you can take — under the supervision of your doctor — that may help ease pain.

Complementary therapies are add-on therapies meant to be used along with traditional treatment, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Massage, spinal manipulation, and acupuncture are examples of complementary therapies that may be beneficial for people with migraines.

“Migraines can be a sign of underlying imbalance,” says Starr Ramson, ND, a naturopathic doctor with the Nourish Medical Center in San Diego. “Often, this is due to subtle changes in hormones, inflammatory mediators, and nutritional deficiencies — all of which can be addressed by complementary therapies. In other cases, there may be an underlying disease state that must be diagnosed and treated appropriately.”

However, this latter point underlines the importance of talking with your doctor before trying any of these therapies, Ramson adds. In addition, there are some considerations such as cost — they’re not always covered by insurance — and the immediacy of your pain, she notes. And, complementary therapies also may take a few months to provide relief.

Still, when performed safely by licensed practitioners and under the supervision of your doctor, these complementary therapies may offer safe ways to help tame your migraine pain:

Acupuncture This ancient Chinese therapy involves a trained acupuncturist inserting very fine needles in specific points in your skin, according to the NCCIH. Many studies have examined the impact of acupuncture on migraines, and some research suggests that acupuncture modulates the central nervous system’s interpretation of pain, Ramson explains. According to a review of research, published in 2016 by Cochrane, six sessions of acupuncture can be effective for treating migraine. In general, it’s a safe option with long-lasting results, but needles aren’t for everyone and, overall, studies assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture across all pain conditions have yielded mixed results.

Biofeedback Stress is a common migraine trigger, and biofeedback can be especially powerful in managing migraines brought on by stress, Ramson says. In biofeedback, electrodes are placed on your skin to measure your heart rate, brain waves, and muscle tone, feeding the results to a monitor. The findings can help you better understand your physiological response to stress; working with your doctor and your care team, you can then learn ways to self-regulate, Ramson explains.

Tension in the muscles of the face, neck, or scalp can put pressure on your nerves and affect blood flow, Ramson says. Massage can help reduce that tension
> Continue reading from Everyday Health
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Stu's Views: 
a simple compound works great on my nagging few times a week migraine or cluster-pounding stress headaches.....  a few droplets of Peppermint essential oil, rubbed into my hands. Then breathing through my hands allows for the scented peppermint essence to drift into my sinus cavity. 
Ah,, This works great!  -----> "For me" ---   ( This is not a medical opinion. Just mine)


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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

New imaging molecule captures brain changes tied to progressive MS

July 8, 2019

Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital suspected that changes in the grey matter regions of the brain may be playing a critical role in multiple sclerosis disease progression. The researchers conducted an initial study assessing the differences in the activity of microglial cells in the grey matter regions of healthy volunteers versus those with MS. The team used a novel tracer molecule known as [F-18]PBR06 and positron emission tomography imaging and detected widespread and abnormal activation of microglia in MS patients and a link to brain atrophy, physical disability, and progressive MS. 

The new study uses the novel radioisotope, [F-18]PBR06, a tracer that targets a specific protein found in activated microglia, key immune cells found in the brain. Many other research projects use C-11, an isotope with a much shorter half-life. But, unlike C-11, the F-18 tracer has a significantly longer half-life and a higher potential to be used in the clinic.

For the pilot study, investigators evaluated results for 12 patients with MS –  seven with relapsing remitting MS and five with secondary progressive MS – and compared it with healthy controls using the F-18 tracer. They found more grey matter microglial activation in the MS patients as compared to healthy controls, particularly in hippocampus, parahippocampus, cingulate gyrus and amygdala regions of the brain. These regions of the brain are known to influence critical processes, including emotion, memory and cognition, all of which may be affected in MS patients. Brain structures in the deep grey matter, particularly the thalamus, showed higher microglial activation in secondary progressive MS than in the relapsing remitting MS patients and healthy controls. This correlated significantly with physical disability and brain atrophy.

The authors note that the pilot study is small and its findings will require additional confirmation in larger studies with a longitudinal design, but it offers the first assessment of [F-18]PBR06 PET for grey matter changes in MS, demonstrating the potential value of this technique.

The findings were published in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.


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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ofatumumab (Arzerra) in clinical studies for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Ofatumumab is an antibody against a protein called CD20, which is found on the surface of certain types of immune cells called B-cells. It is marketed and developed by the Danish biotech company Genmab under a co-development and commercialization agreement with Novartis.
Ofatumumab was originally developed under an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In August 2015, Novartis purchased all remaining rights to ofatumumab from GSK.
Under the brand name Arzerra, the drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia — and clinical trials are ongoing into its potential to treat other diseases, such as follicular lymphoma and relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS).
Preclinical studies in animal models provided promising results, which helped developers proceed to Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy volunteers. With positive safety and toxicity findings from these trials, the companies moved forward to Phase 2 clinical trials, which started in November 2011 and are now complete.
A pilot Phase 2 trial (NCT00640328) with a small cohort of 38 RMS patients was carried out in 2011, with different doses of ofatumumab for 48 weeks. A considerable reduction in the formation of brain plaques was seen, along with a reduction in the number of autoimmune B-cells. New plaque formation also appeared to be suppressed. These results were published in the scientific journal, Neurology.
These findings paved the way for a second, larger Phase 2 trial, called MIRROR (NCT01457924), with 232 RMS taking part in the multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomized to one of five treatment groups: placebo, ofatumumab 3 mg every 12 weeks, ofatumumab 30 mg every 12 weeks, ofatumumab 60 mg every 12 weeks, or ofatumumab 60 mg every four weeks. All continued in the study for 24 weeks of treatment and until B-cell depletion (or destruction). Results showed that ofatumumab was able to “deplete B cells quickly” depending on the dose used and frequency of administration, and effectively reduced the formation of new brain plaques relative to placebo. No new or unexpected safety findings were recorded.
Two randomized and double-blind Phase 3 studies, ASCLEPIOS I (NCT02792218) and ASCLEPIOS II (NCT02792231), are currently recruiting relapsing MS patients across the U.S., and in Canada and Europe. These studies will compare the efficacy and safety of ofatumumab, injected under the skin (subcutaneous), versus teriflunomide (Aubagio), an approved MS-treatment, in about 900 people. Participants will receive either ofatumumab every four weeks or teriflunomide once daily. The trial’s primary goal is annualized MS relapse rates, or the number of confirmed relapses in 12 months, recorded over 2.5 years. Secondary goals include measures of disease progression from baseline according to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores.
source



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Monday, July 29, 2019

FATS, GENES AND MS PROGRESSION

17 July, 2019
  • There have been a number of environmental factors identified that contribute to MS progression, including the level of fats in the blood, but there has been less success in identifying the role of genes in these relationships.
  • Australian researchers have looked at the Ausimmune/AusLong longitudinal study cohort and identified five genetic changes related to fat levels in the blood that may contribute to disability progression.
  • People who had a higher combination of these genetic changes as well as abnormal blood fat levels experienced disability progression at a faster rate.

DNA molecules background
    DNA Molecule Background

Some studies have looked at environmental factors contributing to MS progression. One such environmental factor that has been looked at is levels of fats in the blood. Fats in the blood include triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL), and high density lipoprotein (HDL).  Previous research has shown that high levels of triglycerides, high levels of TC, high levels of LDL, and/or low levels of HDL, are associated with increased disability progression. However, not much is known as to how these changes in fats might lead to disability progression. To help with this, a group of Australian researchers investigated whether genetic changes that related to fats are associated with disability progression in people with MS over time. 
Published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology, the researchers used a subset of the MS Research Australia-supported Ausimmune/AusLong longitudinal study, and followed 184 people with one suspected MS attack over five years. They discovered five genetic changes related to fats in the blood that were associated with disability progression as measured by the change in the expanded disability status scale or EDSS. The researchers generated a “risk score” for disability progression based on the combination of these genetic changes a person may have. They found that those with a lower risk score had lower rates of disability progression compared with those that carried a higher risk score. The researchers also predicted that those participants with higher risk scores in combination with a lower level of HDL or a higher TC:HDL ratio, experienced an even higher rate of disability progression.
The findings suggest that it is a combination of genetic changes and the level of fats in the blood that drive some disability progression. This interesting finding means that potentially there may be a way to modify MS disability progression through the treatment of abnormal fat levels in the blood – especially in those that have increased risk due to their genes. Determining the biological factors that underpin disability progression in MS is important as it will identify new ways to tackle and hopefully halt disability accumulation in people with MS.

This Article is Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews
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NON-INVASIVE METHOD PROMOTES SURVIVAL OF MYELIN-PRODUCING CELLS

17 July, 2019
  • Damage to myelin, the insulating sheath around nerve fibres, can lead to the symptoms of MS. Natural repair mechanisms often fail to completely repair this damage.
  • An Australian team has looked at a non-invasive method for promoting myelin production in the brain as a way to boost natural myelin repair.
  • In exciting new results, they have found that this method promotes the survival and maturation of myelin-producing cells in the brain.



In MS there is a loss of myelin in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin can be repaired, but in progressive forms of MS, this is not complete leading to irreversible disability. Currently, there are no treatment options that are capable of repairing myelin damage for people with progressive MS and therefore there is a need to find ways to combat this.
A team at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Tasmania, led by Dr Kaylene Young and funded by MS Research Australia, has explored the use of a non-invasive method called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to promote myelin production. This method uses a rapidly changing magnetic field to generate small electrical pulses in the brain, stimulating certain areas. This method is currently used to treat depression in people where anti-depressants have not been successful. There have also been a small number of rTMS clinical trials in people with MS, and in these trials, people have reported a reduction in fatigue, muscle spasticity and improved memory. However, how it leads to these benefits were unknown. But given that brain activity is known to promote myelin production and since rTMS stimulates brain activity it is hoped that this method may be used to repair myelin in progressive forms of MS.
Published in Glia, the study shows that multiple bursts of magnetic stimulation provided by rTMS to a laboratory model over a two week period increased the number of newborn myelin-producing cells in the cortex (outer layer of the brain). This increase was a result of the cells surviving longer than usual. However, these cells remained in an immature state and didn’t really contribute to myelin production.
The researchers next investigated whether increasing the length of rTMS from two weeks to four weeks would increase the number of mature myelin-producing cells in the brain, and indeed found this to be the case. The increase in mature myelin-producing cells helped contribute to the length of myelin, showing that rTMS can influence myelin production.
This exciting work has shown that rTMS can promote the production of myelin for the first time. Dr Kaylene Young, along with Professor Bruce Taylor at the Menzies Institute of Medical Research, was awarded the MS Research Australia-Macquarie Group Foundation Paired Fellowship. This Paired Fellowship links together the work of a researcher and clinician in the field of MS. One of the aims of this fellowship is to progress the work undertaken by Dr Young in this project and proceed to clinical trials to ultimately treat people with progressive forms of MS.
SOURCE LINK


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Family, Faith, and Work Help an MS-Certified Nurse Bounce Back After Years of Disability

Finding the right MS medication changed Cherie Binns’ life. 
Now she helps others live better with MS.
By Brian P. Dunleavy
Last Updated:  7/12/2019

Cherie Binns, an MS-certified nurse, both lives with MS and helps others who do.

It took Cherie C. Binns, RN, 19 years of otherwise unexplained symptoms get a proper diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), and an additional 9 years for her and her doctors to find a treatment that helped reduce the frequency and severity of her relapses.

And because of that, the condition took from her two things in life she loved: her work as a nurse and her music. She was a guitarist, flutist, and vocalist who specialized in liturgical music.

Still, “I love life,” says the married mother of two adult children who lives in Rhode Island. “I love my family, and I love the thought of the adventure of life ahead. I feel that now I am physically able to do some of the things my husband and I didn’t do in our forties and fifties. It’s been quite a change.”

Binns, now in her mid-sixties, credits her family, her work, and her faith with helping her reverse what she describes as the “deconditioning that comes with having a chronic disease.”

The Long Journey to an MS Diagnosis

Binns’s journey to a multiple sclerosis diagnosis began with symptoms resembling those of optic neuritis in her left eye and periods of left-side weakness. She would experience these symptoms once or twice a year for days or even weeks at a time before she saw an ophthalmologist in 1994 who sent her to a neurologist who confirmed her MS. By then, she had lost much of the sight in her left eye.

“I kept being told my symptoms didn’t really make much sense, and much of that time I didn’t have health insurance, and so doctors were hesitant to perform tests we couldn’t afford,” she says. “It was very frustrating, because I knew my body, and I didn’t feel like I was being taken seriously.”

Even after learning for sure that RRMS was the cause of her symptoms, Binns and her care team struggled to find a treatment that worked for her.

As a result, in 1996, she was forced to stop working as a nurse because her symptoms made working with the patients in her care too difficult.

“I had experienced several falls while out in the field, at clients’ houses,” she recalls of her home care case-management position. “A lot of my clients lived in beachside cottages without insulation. It would be 80 degrees outside and 100 degrees inside, and I would literally fall out the door because I was overheated and overtired.”

It wasn’t until she was “scooter dependent,” she says, that she finally began a disease-modifying therapy for MS. This came about when she transferred her care from a local neurologist to an MS specialist.

New Treatment, New Lease on Life

Read More


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